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30 review for R. E. Lee: A Biography Volume IV

  1. 4 out of 5

    Austin Gisriel

    Having just concluded Volume 4 of R. E. Lee, I feel compelled to say again that Freeman’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography is a monument to research as much as it is to the famous Confederate General. There are 10 pages of personal acknowledgments including one of the “Right Honorable Winston Churchill” who “went over the ground of the Seven Days with the writer and made many helpful observations on the terrain.” As I have mentioned in my reviews of the previous three volumes, I am left to wonde Having just concluded Volume 4 of R. E. Lee, I feel compelled to say again that Freeman’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography is a monument to research as much as it is to the famous Confederate General. There are 10 pages of personal acknowledgments including one of the “Right Honorable Winston Churchill” who “went over the ground of the Seven Days with the writer and made many helpful observations on the terrain.” As I have mentioned in my reviews of the previous three volumes, I am left to wonder if anyone could be as self-disciplined and godly as Lee. The answer for me is yes, as I knew a man who spent three years in the Navy and never heard him curse. Ever. Not even a damn. That was my dad who lived to be 83. Raised by his Methodist minister father and “saintly” (his term) mother, he was big on self-discipline, too. Still, if anyone interviewed me for a biography of my dad, I could have shared a few faults! Did Freeman look for any in Lee? Did he find them, and just decided that he was not going to write anything that would disparage the Zeus of the Southern pantheon? Maybe he saw them, and didn’t know what he was looking at; love will do that to you, and he clearly loved Robert E. Lee. This lack of a counter-point made me wonder just how did Robert E. Lee go from a defeated General, whom many Northerners regarded as a traitor in 1865, to someone who was praised as an example of American genius and gentility in just 5 years (Lee died in 1870), and by Northern newspapers no less. I think Freeman would be happy to know, that his work has prompted me to read further, and so soon, I expect to delve into John Reeves, 2018, The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee: The Forgotten Case Against an American Icon. I am anxious to see what I find out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This series of four books is probably the best biography I've ever read. It is well-documented. The author does a good job of keeping facts and both his own opinions and the opinions of others separate. Freeman obviously has a high opinion of Robert E. Lee, but he doesn't let Lee skate on his mistakes and faults. Sometimes he lets his writing get a bit ... grandiose, but maybe that's excusable when he's narrating a battle, the death of an irreplaceable lieutenant, the high and low points of a li This series of four books is probably the best biography I've ever read. It is well-documented. The author does a good job of keeping facts and both his own opinions and the opinions of others separate. Freeman obviously has a high opinion of Robert E. Lee, but he doesn't let Lee skate on his mistakes and faults. Sometimes he lets his writing get a bit ... grandiose, but maybe that's excusable when he's narrating a battle, the death of an irreplaceable lieutenant, the high and low points of a life, etc. It's noticeable when his writing changes that way so maybe it's a good thing that it doesn't happen often. All-in-all, it was an incredible series that I would recommend to anyone who is willing to start with an open opinion of R. E. Lee.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    Great books on R E Lee.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Harden

    Worthy of the Pulitzer Prize it received. The description of the End at Appomattox is high literature.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Brown

    It's finished! It took rather longer than I thought to read this series because work kept getting in the way of personal reading, but I managed to finish Vol. 4 last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mr. Freeman is obviously very sympathetic to his subject, but hasn't hidden mistakes that Lee made. At times I thought the details of all the troop placements in the battels could have been abbridged, but it was necessary to show how Lee conducted his battles. I've heard about Robert E. Lee all my life It's finished! It took rather longer than I thought to read this series because work kept getting in the way of personal reading, but I managed to finish Vol. 4 last night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mr. Freeman is obviously very sympathetic to his subject, but hasn't hidden mistakes that Lee made. At times I thought the details of all the troop placements in the battels could have been abbridged, but it was necessary to show how Lee conducted his battles. I've heard about Robert E. Lee all my life, and now have a better understanding of who he was, what he faced, and how important he really was to the healing of the country after the war. That's the part you seldome hear about, it's all General Lee won this, and that, but his real contribution was his example for the South after the guns were quite. I think the Mr. Freeman's final assessment was probably correct. Robert E Lee was a humble, simple soul, and a true gentleman in every way. My next book about Lee will probably be by an author whose assessment isn't so favorable, to hear what Lee's critics have to say, but at this time, I doubt the impression made by Mr. Freeman's work will be very much changed. If you are interested in the Civil War, or American military leaders, these books are a must read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Micah Douthit

    "Robert Lee was one of the small company of great men in whom there is no inconsistency to be explained, no enigma to be solved. What he seemed, he was--a wholly human gentleman, the essential elements of whose positive character were two and only two, simplicity and spirituality." Phenomenal 4 volume biography of Robert E. Lee. "Robert Lee was one of the small company of great men in whom there is no inconsistency to be explained, no enigma to be solved. What he seemed, he was--a wholly human gentleman, the essential elements of whose positive character were two and only two, simplicity and spirituality." Phenomenal 4 volume biography of Robert E. Lee.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    The last volume of the series of R.E. Lee by Douglas Southall Freeman. This tells of the last battles fought by Robert E. Lee and his army before his surrender at Appomattox Court House to Union general Ulysses S. Grant. After the war, He later became president of Washington College. His home in Arlington was confiscated during the war as well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    See R E Lee, Vol. I

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Horn

    The last volume of Freeman's biography of Lee. Contains the end of the war and his service as head of Washington University. The last volume of Freeman's biography of Lee. Contains the end of the war and his service as head of Washington University.

  10. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  11. 4 out of 5

    MRK

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ezra Adams

  14. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gill Eastland

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eric Kiser

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kendall Payne

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cliff Keller

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wallace Roark

  23. 5 out of 5

    John

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel S.

  26. 5 out of 5

    KSO

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wm C

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eugene Oliver

  29. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nevins Smith

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